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My mother has attempted suicide several times, what should I do?

Q: My mother's attitude is very indifferent. She can't control her rage and shouts continuously the whole day. She has a history of conversion disorder. Nowadays she is threatening us with suicide. She has been taking Flux 20 mg from the past two years. The psychiatrist has given her Wizen 25 mg but she can't take it due to side effects. Her behaviour is rigid towards us, but she talks sophisticatedly with others. She discusses her past and blames others like her father who got her married at the age of 18 when she was ill. She blames her husband and children on trivial matters. She had attempted suicide many times by taking sleeping pills, cutting her wrist, hanging herself by the fan. After every suicidal attempt she apologises to us and regrets her act. She is guilty because she could not pursue higher education due to early marriage. Her depressive episodes come frequently, when she faces trauma or anything which she doesn't like. She responds to happy moments. She enjoys shopping but her behaviour changes suddenly and she starts fighting with us and blaming us and recalls all unhappy moments of the past. What is the problem with her? What kind of mental disorder does she have?

A:Whether your mother suffers from chronic double depression, personality disorder or some other disorder can be told only after detailed work up. But one thing is sure that it will not improve if she is not following up with her psychiatrist as he wants her to and not taking drugs as advised. You must ensure this and follow the advice yourself also as a family. She may need psychotherapy, behaviour therapy for anger or other problems, relaxation therapy etc. Because all this involves only talking and guidance and takes time for the results to show these treatments are considered a waste of time and money by both the family and the patient while these are at times very crucial to recovery. Do have faith in your psychiatrist (if you are going to one) and continue the treatment.

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